United Foodstuffs and Catering (UFC), a Beirut-based distributor of Mazola olive oil, is planning to open a new olive oil factory in Syria, 40 kilometers from Aleppo, by the end of 2002, reported the Daily Star.
Lebanese olive cultivators and olive oil manufacturers are facing difficulties in marketing their products, now that imported olive oil brands cost 40-50 percent less than domestic olive oil. The local olive oil industry appears to be loosing to competition from Syria as well. Lebanon produces up to 9,000 tons of olive oil a year, compared to 140,000 for Syria. Other than a few restaurants abroad, Lebanese olive products are not exported.
Lebanese industrialists hope to make a profit from Syria’s growing production. Together with Aceites del Sur ADS, its Spanish olive oil producing partner, UFC will build the 4,000 square meter plant with a capacity to crush 130 tons of olives a day for the four-month olive season. The plant will refine 75 tons of oil a day for 330 days of the year.
UFC plans to distribute production from this plant in Syria, the Middle East, and the international market. The company estimates that 50 percent of the plant's production would be sold outside Syria. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )